On the first week of August, 12 growers across seven states gathered in Chesterfield, Mo., to attend the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Leadership Academy. Attendees of the 3-day training dove deeper into media training, NCGA action teams and team building exercises.

Texas Corn Producers (TCP) was represented by association board member Kyla Hamilton of Shallowater, Texas. Hamilton talked about the structure of the conference and elaborated on the material covered.

“We worked heavily on accurately communicating agriculture through different forms of media,” Hamilton said. “It is always a great idea to get a different set of eyes and ears to give you constructive feedback and teach you new ways to translate the work we are doing on the farm.”

The attendees’ time was also spent unpacking NCGA action teams and their purposes to help encourage their leadership on the national level. Hamilton said she was able to see the specifics on work being done in those groups that goes beyond reading the team descriptions.

“The NCGA action teams are a terrific chance for Texas farmers to get involved at the national level,” Hamilton said. “Our needs and interests differ drastically from producers across the nation and deserve to be spoken for when making decisions to advance the corn industry nationally. There is a lot of progress being made in these teams and I hope Texas producers continue to jump in the mix!”

Aside from concrete skills, Hamilton said the best part of spending her time in Chesterfield was spent across a dinner table from producers whose operations lie outside of the Texas state line.

“The network and relationships are what lasts,” Hamilton said. “It is always great to check in with the greater farm community and find a feeling of normalcy especially in a time like this. Gaining the skills in the workshops is an added bonus!”

Hamilton has completed the first half of the leadership program. In March of 2021, the 12 producers will trek to Washington, D.C., to visit with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. There are many ways for producers to get involved and grow leadership skills through TCP and its partner organizations such as NCGA. Learn more about the NCGA Leadership Academy here, and explore more local opportunities on the TCP website.

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